Uber’s latest experiment is an on-demand moving service

In the ongoing march to its outsized IPO, Uber is trying out yet another delivery product. But this time, instead of bringing you packages or food, the company wants to help you move.

UberCargo, which is being tested in Hong Kong right now, connects people with cargo vans that can help move bigger items, like mattresses and “large pets.” It can also be used like a taxi service for people traveling with big gear, such as surfers or bands. It’s not clear from Uber’s post why it picked Hong Kong as its testing ground, or when the option might roll out to other locations (I’ve reached out to the company for clarification and will update this when I hear back).

The fee will depend on both time and distance and loading time will be included. In Hong Kong, the base fare will be US$2.58 ($20 Hong Kong dollars), with additional per minute and per mile costs. Check out the breakdown here. You can ask the driver for help with that part, although their assistance doesn’t sound guaranteed from Uber’s blog post.

This isn’t the first of Uber’s delivery experiments. Part of the reason it has a $40 billion valuation is because it plans to transform urban logistics; it won’t be content with just changing the nature of the taxi industry. It’s testing couriers in New York City for letters and smaller packages, drivers in Los Angeles for food delivery, and corner store delivery in Washington D.C.

But Uber-for-moving may be the most helpful product yet. It opens up a ton of opportunities for the carless: Lugging stuff home from Ikea, purchasing items off Craigslist, traveling with hefty equipment. Farewell, expensive moving services and unwieldy U-hauls — you can stick with the family with far more stuff than the average single city-dweller. And good luck to the many on-demand moving apps that have formed in recent months. With Uber as a competitor, it will be a tough fight.

UberCargo could be the most useful thing for the carless urban dweller since … well … Uber itself.

Assuming its vans aren’t too creepy, of course. Twitter, for its part, has wasted no time in imagining the dystopian future of UberCargo:

Vid-Biz: MTV, Day One, 100M Views

New MTV Show Will Split Ad Revenue with Twitter and Facebook; What You’re Watching with Alexa Chung will be a joint venture between the three, incorporating social media aspects — while paying for them. (paidContent)

Jesse Alexander’s Day One Gets Picked Up; NBC to run this show about a band of post-apocalypse survivors, transmedia elements are bound to follow from the former Heroes writer. (The Global Couch)

The 100 Million Views Club; Visible Measures compiles a list of the most-watched viral vids of all time (Susan Boyle is No. 5). (Visible Measures)

Ultradome to Be a Battleground for Geeks; new web series from Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia will pit pop culture icons against each other (who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Darth Vader?). (The Hollywood Reporter)

Who Picks Up the Tab for 3D Glasses? Studios and theaters bicker over the cost of the disposable eyewear. (Variety)

Heavy Tweeting, Men’s Video Site Holds Twitter Dating Contest; Heavy.com’s “Massive Mating Game” will pit guys against each other to win a date in Las Vegas. (emailed release)

Vizio Signs Macrovision for Interactive Program Guide; deal will incorporate Macrovision’s navigation, sorting and scheduling technology into future Vizio products. (release)

Disney Releasing Two Versions of Some DVDs; movies like Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience will have all value-added material in the retail market, but will only be bare bones for rental. (Variety)

Vid-Biz: YouTube, MOVR, MLB

Report: YouTube in Talks to Get Sony Movies; details are slim, but deal would make sense as YouTube tries to position itself as a premium content destination. (CNET)
Motorola MOVR Makes Your DVR Content Mobile; device connects to your set-top box and makes your recorded content available on any wireless, Internet-connected device. (Media Experiences 2 Go)

Live Video Streaming Coming to MLB’s “At Bat” iPhone App? New way to watch the game could arrive courtesy of a new streaming tool Apple is putting into the next version of the iPhone software. (Silicon Alley Insider)
Kevin Pollak Doing His Own Video Show; new episodes roll out every Sunday afternoon, features whatever the comedian/actor wants, including interviews with celebrities and live questions via Twitter. (TechCrunch)
TurnHere Founder Dives into “Vooks;” Brad Inman’s take on fiction is to include the written word, video and elements such as Twitter into one multimedia package. (The New York Times)
Actors, Studios Reportedly Close to a Deal; after nine months, the two parties could be close to agreement on a three-year deal. (LA Times)
Rumor: iPhone to Get Video Editing Tools; clues from graphic elements indicate v. 3.0 of the gadget’s software could include the ability to trim and clip video creations on the fly. (TUAW)

Vid-Biz: Discovery, Do-Gooders, Starz

Discovery Channel Mines the Vault; clips from 23 years’ worth of shows get new life (and ad dollars) on the web. “‘Cheetahs are still killing gazelles the same way they did 3,000 years ago,’ Doug Craig, the senior vice president for digital media production, said, ‘and on top of that, we don’t have to pay residuals.'” (The New York Times)

Google’s Top “Do-Gooders” to Be Announced Tomorrow; video contest asked the masses to come up with the next great idea, many of them have to do with climate change and you can vote for your favorite. (Earth2Tech)

Starz Said to be Creating Tom and Sam WebComedy Series; former Arrested Development writers developing the series about two guys from the future stranded in the present. (MediaWeek) (See original episodes at Tom And Sam Are Stuck) UPDATE: A Starz representative said there was nothing to confirm about the MediaWeek’s story, and that the network is in talks with many different creators about a number of different projects.

DeleetDelete Your YouTube Comments; embarrassed by what you wrote about a video? Now you can remove your commentary on videos. (YouTube Blog)

Just Fifty-six Percent of HDTV Owners Get HD Service; 17 million households with HDTV sets are not watching programming in HD. (Multichannel News)

Affine Systems Tracks TV News on YouTube; in partnership with TVbytheNumbers.com, firm finds Fox clips get more views on YouTube but watchers spend more time on CNN’s. (release)

Heavy Launches YouTube Channel; original programming from the men’s network to be distributed across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. (emailed release)

Vid-Biz: Silverlight 3, Blip.tv, Domino’s

Silverlight 3 to Include h.264 Support; next version of Microsoft’s video player (due next year) will incorporate the high-quality video standard and will also include 3D support and GPU hardware acceleration. (Scott Guthrie’s Blog)
Blip.tv Raised $5.2 Million; funding announcement originally didn’t have a dollar figure, peHUB came across the amount in regulatory findings. (peHUB)
Order Domino’s Through Your TiVo; new set-top box widget lets you order pizza through your TV. (Zatz Not Funny)
Korea to Get Warner Movies Online Before DVD; studio scaling back on DVDs because of piracy, but ramping up legal online distribution. (The New York Times)
Mass Animation Crowd-Sourcing New Film; Intel backing the project, which will have volunteer animators who don’t know each other working to produce a 5-minute animated short. (VentureBeat)
Brightcove Gets Times Online Business; video platform to provide services for the UK newspaper site that does roughly 20 million uniques a month. (emailed news)
Heavy Launches in Australia; men’s online video network kicks off Down Under with destinations like Heavy.com, BitTorrent, Fanpop and OVGuide. (emailed release)

Downturn Strikes Again: Heavy Lays Off 14%

Layoffs are hitting all over the tech industry, and online video startups are taking it on the chin too. We already wrote about Seesmic’s two rounds of layoffs, and now we find out that men’s-oriented video portal Heavy dropped 14 percent of its staff today.
New York City-based Heavy has also had previous layoffs alongside its split into two companies (spinoff Husky is an advertising tech company), and has also seen more than its fair share of attrition. The company’s staff is down to 57 after today’s layoffs, from 105 employees in June, a 45 percent loss in four months, according to Silicon Alley Insider. Heavy, of course, tried to play layoffs off as a strengthening move, but putting people out of a job is never a happy thing. The company’s statement on the matter follows:

“Given the current economic downturn and related uncertainty in its industry, Heavy today reduced its staff by 14%. With its premium Heavy Men’s Network platform serving 23M young men per month in the US alone, and profitable International operations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, Heavy is strongly positioned for any dip in the advertising market.”

Do you know of other online video layoffs? Are you newly in need of a job? Let us know.

Vid-Biz: Playboy, Graspr, Babelgum

Playboy Dumping DVDs for Online; company will also layoff 80 people in a bid to save $12 million. (paidContent)
Graspr Introduces gCard; technology will carry the identity of the video creator wherever the video is embedded. (TechCrunch)
Babelgum Keeping the Download Client; online TV service is not going the way of Joost and Hulu. (paidContent)
NBC Marketing Exec Leaves to Form Production and New Media Company; Vince Manze departing the peacock after 18 years, says he’s working on a reality show/online game hybrid. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Heavy Offering Crash Before its TV Debut; men’s video site to get preview clips and first episode of the new Starz dramatic series. (MediaWeek)
Edgeware AB Partners with 3rdi Technology; deal will integrate Edgeware’s web TV servers into the Guardian Video Community Platform. (emailed release)

Husky Claims CTRs Through the Roof

The folks at Husky Media, the not-yet-completely-spun-off-from-Heavy.com advertising tools provider, let us know they are seeing unusually high click-through rates in their first month in business. Husky’s service provides a “video skin” that gives advertisers unusual prominence. When a viewer clicks to play a video, the rest of the browser window gets swapped out for a background devoted to an advertiser with the video playing in the middle.

Apparently this pays off, because Husky’s average click-through rate is 3 percent (the industry average CTR is usually less than 1 percent). For a particularly effective Samsung campaign, the Husky CTR was 4.46 percent, while Husky’s least popular campaign was for the Army, with a CTR of 2.3 percent. (Update: See Husky blog post here.)

Husky has about 100 sites signed up to display the ads, with 30 live already, most notably CBSSports.com.

The downside? I’m not sure consumers enjoy having their screens taken over when they’d rather be multitasking — for example, I tend to like to scroll through the comments while a video plays. And Heavy/Husky co-CEO David Carson told us the reason for the high CTRs may simply be that users of Husky’s network of sites haven’t seen this type of ad before — which could mean they’ll be less effective over time. “When we first started with video skins on Heavy they were very high, right around that range, but they ended up settling at 1.5 [percent], so I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up settling there.”

Anyways, let us know what else you’re seeing out there. Are any particular video ad formats breaking out from the pack?

Heavy: $1B in Video Advertising in ’08

Last week men’s portal Heavy.com said it would spin off its ad platform into a proposed new company called Husky, and lay off 25 people to narrow its focus on its two distinct businesses. We didn’t quite get whether this was a good thing or a bad thing, so were in New York we stopped by the Heavy office and spoke to co-CEO David Carson, who had some good insights on the nature of the online video advertising market, having been there since the beginning. Of course he said the changes were positive — but there’s also a bit more nuance than that.